In the coalition agreement 2019 –2024, the Flemish Government decided to proceed with the dissolution of the Flemish Environmental Holding. In implementation of this decision, preparations were initiated for a merger by taking over between the Flemish Environmental Holding (as acquired company) and PMV (as an acquiring company). The merger will dissolve the Flemish Environmental Holding. In order to contractually anchor the acquisition of the portfolio of participations and projects of the Flemish Environmental Holding within the operation of PMV and to ensure that the ongoing contracts of the Flemish Environmental Holding will be continued by the PMV, the Flemish Government now approves an addendum to the Cooperation Agreement between the Flemish Region and the PMV group. In view of the dissolution of the Flemish Environmental Holding, the existing management agreement will be formally terminated via an addendum. The merger is scheduled for May 19, 2020.
Flemish start-up with unique groundwater technology is ready for an international breakthrough
The investment funds Qbic II and VMH (Flemish Environmental Holding) gave the green light for an investment in iFLUX, a spin-off of VITO and the University of Antwerp last week. The start-up developed a monitoring technique that maps the effective spread of contamination of soil and groundwater. “This capital injection ensures that we can tackle this challenge at a global level”, says iFLUX.
Ready for international expansion
“With the help of flux results, our clients have a far better overview of the risks of soil pollution and are thus able to draw up more focused and cost-efficient remediation plans. Thanks to our knowledge and the trust we have built up within the industry, we are ready for a major breakthrough” says CEO Tim Op ‘t Eyndt, who is responsible for the business and international development.
Currently, most of the company’s projects are executed in Flanders, which is undertaking a pioneering role in sustainable ground water management using innovative techniques, spurred on by the OVAM (Public Waste Agency of Flanders). “However, the issue is a global one, and this capital increase will help us carry the iFLUX technology across borders. Hence we are primarily looking at neighbouring countries and the United States.”
The iFLUX story started in 2017, when Goedele Verreydt, Tim Op ’t Eyndt and Filip Meester launched their innovative technology. The new investment will also be used for the expansion of the team as well as the digitalisation of the technology.
“Groundwater is only the beginning of our story. Our ambition with iFLUX is capturing the spread of process parameters and environmental pollutants throughout the entire water chain” says Goedele Verreydt, creator of the technology.“ That is why we are currently integrating our measurement method into a real-time sensing application, to be able to provide unique data that helps manage groundwater in a quicker and more efficient way. We are evolving from contamination control in groundwater to surface water, water purification, process flow, and prevention. Our ambition is to become the company of choice for the monitoring of fluxes in any aqueous environment.”
1,36 million euros
From now on, the development of the iFLUX-technology and the expansion of its market share will be supported by 2 large funds. Qbic II (the Belgian interuniversity venture capital fund) led this funding round. “We see great potential in iFLUX’ story. There is compelling evidence that the technology works in the fight against groundwater pollution, and by developing the real-time sensor they can also play a crucial role in evolving towards Smart Water Grids” says Sofie Baeten of Qbic II.
Together with VMH (the investment fund of the Flemish Government), the University of Antwerp, a group of historical investors, Qbic II is investing 1.36 million euros. “Drinking water is a scarce commodity. We therefore need to ensure that the quality of our water sources is good and remains that way. By using this new Flemish technology we can take a step further in protecting our groundwater. With the support of VMH this company can continue developing and further spread Flemish technology abroad.” – Flemish minister of Environment, Nature, and Agriculture Koen Van den Heuvel
Qbic II Arkiv Fund:
Qbic is an interuniversity seed-and growth fund that invests in spin-offs and young, innovative companies with a technological link to the partner universities and research centres. Qbic is managed by an independent team of experienced investors. With 90 million euro under management, Qbic is one of the largest interuniversity spin-off funds in Europe. Qbic I was founded in 2012, invested in 18 companies and is in divestment phase. Qbic II launched in September 2016 and already has 8 companies in its portfolio.
Flemish Environmental Holding (VMH):
The Flemish Environmental Holding (VMH) is a public investment company that participates in environmental sector enterprises deemed strategic by the Flemish government. It also provides venture capital to businesses in the early stages of development which are accelerating the transition to a circular economy. VMH holds a 100% stake in Aquafin and is thereby implementing the assignment of the Flemish Region to underpin and execute its environmental policy.
Below is a link to the VMH news item broadcast by Kanaal Z on 14 September 2018 following their participation in InOpSys nv:
Please visit: https://kanaalz.knack.be/embed/video/1197417
Along with several private entrepreneurs, the Flemish Environmental Holding (Vlaamse Milieuholding, VMH) is investing 1.25 million Euros in fledgling enterprise InOpSys.
InOpSys nv develops innovative solutions for the on-site treatment of complex, toxic waste waters that arise during the pharmaceutical and chemical production processes. The InOpSys concept completely eliminates the transport and incineration of such waste waters. On-site purified water can consequently be recovered from the customer’s production processes and valuable components (metals, phosphates and solvents etc.) extracted and supplied to specialised companies as raw materials. The InOpSys concept offers the pharmaceutical and chemical industry a sustainable, innovative and cost-efficient solution that closes the water cycle and creates a circular economy. InOpSys currently develops these solutions in its in-house lab and subsequently deploys them at the customer site via flexible, modular mobile treatment units.
InOpSys is a KULeuven spin-off company. It was launched in 2015, based on an idea generated within the Fisch/Catalisti spearhead cluster. The Innovation Fund and Gemma Frisius Fund provided the necessary start-up capital. Over the past two years, the InOpSys team has grown from 2 to 7 members, each of whom contributes to the success of this flourishing enterprise with international potential. In May 2017, the first on-site water solution process was implemented at the Janssen Pharmaceutica NV production site in Geel. This project was awarded first prize at the Belgian Business Awards for the Environment in 2018.
Managing Director Steven De Laet: “Circular economy and water cycle closure are the only option for a sustainable future.”
The Vlaamse Milieuholding nv (Flemish Environmental Holding) is a public investment company that participates in environmental sector enterprises deemed strategic by the Flemish government. It also provides venture capital to businesses that are at an early stage of development and accelerating the transition to the circular economy. VMH has a 100% participation in Aquafin, thus fulfilling the Flemish Region’s mandate to support and implement environmental policy.
Minister Joke Schauvliege: “In addition to strategic participations, VMH also provides venture capital to companies that are accelerating the transition to a circular economy.”
VMH exclusively invests in entrepreneurs, companies and other financiers in the form of a minority share in the venture capital round.
Chairman, Frans Dieryck “VMH distinguishes itself by focusing on starters and university or company spin-offs that are in an early phase of development – the valley of death.”
VMH actively pursues projects that an “entrepreneur team” can transform into companies that accelerate the circular economy.
VITO and co-promoters, Worley and VMH, recently launched the EFRO LignoValue Pilot project. This project has a 4.3 million Euro budget and is tasked with constructing a working pilot line in Flanders for the production of bio-aromatics from lignin/wood by the first quarter of 2021. The pilot installation is a response to requirements from various companies that have expressed an interest in innovative molecules and are willing to perform application testing.
Please visit: https://vito.be/nl/nieuws/lancering-lignovalue-pilot